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Rajasthan lawyer alleges torture by U.P. police

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U.P. police allegedly arrested him when he was completing formalities for bail applications on behalf of some accused persons.

A 25-year-old Muslim lawyer from Rajasthan’s Kota district on Monday accused the Uttar Pradesh police of falsely implicating him in a case for protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and of torturing him in custody. The lawyer, Mohammed Faisal, spent 14 days in jail at Kairana in U.P. before he was released on bail on January 7.

Mr. Faisal, a practising advocate at the Kota district courts, had gone to Kairana in Shamli district last month as a member of the National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO) to offer legal aid to the protesters arrested during the agitation against the CAA.

The U.P. police, however, allegedly arrested him from the court premises when he was completing formalities for bail applications on behalf of some accused persons.

Speaking at a press conference in Jaipur, Mr. Faisal said a team of U.P. Police’s Special Operations Group forcibly took him, along with three others, to the Kotwali police station in Kairana on December 23.

“I was outside the Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s court with a local lawyer doing the paper work for bail applications for some persons who were picked up from their houses five days before,” he said.

When Mr. Faisal told the policemen that he was a lawyer and showed them his identity card, they dismissed it as a fake document and claimed that he had come to Kairana to “incite violence”.

“They said I was speaking with a Bengali accent and alleged that I had come from West Bengal to provoke the people and help the rioters.”

The lawyer alleged that the policemen abused him, thrashed him, beat him with sticks and tortured him by giving electric shock on his back inside the police station. The police then put him in the lock-up and arrested him in a criminal case in which 700 other unidentified persons were also named as accused. He was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate the next day.

The case was registered under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between groups on grounds of religion, etc.), 143 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code.

Member of the Bar Council of Rajasthan (BCR) Shahid Hasan said the body would write to the Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, National Human Rights Commission and the U.P. Chief Minister, seeking their intervention in the matter. Mr. Hasan said the BCR would seek action against police officials who had booked Mr. Faisal in the “concocted case”.

NCHRO-Rajasthan president T.C. Rahul said Mr. Faisal had gone to Kairana on the Confederation’s instructions amid the reports of large-scale illegal arrests and harassment of innocent people in Shamli district. PUCL State president Kavita Srivastava said Mr. Faisal’s arrest amounted to infringement of his own right to defence as well as his right to defend others.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:42:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-lawyer-alleges-torture-by-up-police/article30559604.ece

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